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An Assessment of the Influence of Group Characteristics on Capacity-Building for Local Environmental Acton in Brazil

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041661/00001

Material Information

Title: An Assessment of the Influence of Group Characteristics on Capacity-Building for Local Environmental Acton in Brazil
Physical Description: 1 online resource (88 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Silva, Ana
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: brazil, education, environmental, formation, gas, group, licensing, management, maturity, oil, process, success
Latin American Studies -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Latin American Studies thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: An Assessment of The Influence of Group Characteristics on Capacity-building for Local Environmental Action in Brazil. By Ana Carolina Crisostomo da Silva May 2010 Chair: Susan K. Jacobson Major: Latin American Studies The formation of groups has been examined as a strategy to build social capital and improve environmental management and civic participation. In this study, I assessed characteristics of thirteen groups composed of public government workers and civil society representatives, which were formed by an educational program within the scope of the Brazilian licensing process of oil and gas activities. I interviewed group members and measured group success to test a model of group maturity, in which maturity is associated with program success. Variables in the model include internal norms and rules, group lifespan, external links, and defined objectives. I tested for associations between maturity scores and project plan evaluation scores, number of self-initiated activities and success rated by the external agency. The results did not statistically support the hypothesis that more mature groups developed better project plans; however, more mature groups conducted more self-initiated activities and were ranked more successful by the external agency. Results suggest that group maturity is associated with successful activities. Differences in groups? internal norms and rules accounted for changes in the external agency score. I suggest that the model additionally should include temporal measurements of each variable, in order to make a more accurate assessment of group characteristics. I discuss how organizational characteristics of groups as well as their external context influence the type of social capital formed, and thus its outcomes. I provide recommendations to improve educational projects in this public policy context. These include involving people with previous abilities or experiences similar to project tasks; providing capacity building for all participants, providing groups with continuous tasks, stimulating empowerment evaluation, providing support throughout the project life cycle, and increasing dialogue among the multi-scale institutions involved in the project.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Ana Silva.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Jacobson, Susan K.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041661:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041661/00001

Material Information

Title: An Assessment of the Influence of Group Characteristics on Capacity-Building for Local Environmental Acton in Brazil
Physical Description: 1 online resource (88 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Silva, Ana
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: brazil, education, environmental, formation, gas, group, licensing, management, maturity, oil, process, success
Latin American Studies -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Latin American Studies thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: An Assessment of The Influence of Group Characteristics on Capacity-building for Local Environmental Action in Brazil. By Ana Carolina Crisostomo da Silva May 2010 Chair: Susan K. Jacobson Major: Latin American Studies The formation of groups has been examined as a strategy to build social capital and improve environmental management and civic participation. In this study, I assessed characteristics of thirteen groups composed of public government workers and civil society representatives, which were formed by an educational program within the scope of the Brazilian licensing process of oil and gas activities. I interviewed group members and measured group success to test a model of group maturity, in which maturity is associated with program success. Variables in the model include internal norms and rules, group lifespan, external links, and defined objectives. I tested for associations between maturity scores and project plan evaluation scores, number of self-initiated activities and success rated by the external agency. The results did not statistically support the hypothesis that more mature groups developed better project plans; however, more mature groups conducted more self-initiated activities and were ranked more successful by the external agency. Results suggest that group maturity is associated with successful activities. Differences in groups? internal norms and rules accounted for changes in the external agency score. I suggest that the model additionally should include temporal measurements of each variable, in order to make a more accurate assessment of group characteristics. I discuss how organizational characteristics of groups as well as their external context influence the type of social capital formed, and thus its outcomes. I provide recommendations to improve educational projects in this public policy context. These include involving people with previous abilities or experiences similar to project tasks; providing capacity building for all participants, providing groups with continuous tasks, stimulating empowerment evaluation, providing support throughout the project life cycle, and increasing dialogue among the multi-scale institutions involved in the project.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Ana Silva.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Jacobson, Susan K.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041661:00001


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1 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP CHARACTERISTICS ON CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR LOCAL ENVI RONMENTAL ACTON IN BRAZIL By ANA CAROLINA CRISOSTOMO DA SILVA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Ana Carolina Crisostomo da Silva

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3 To all brave people involved with the educ ation for environmental management in Brazil, especially those invo lved with the Projeto Plen

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my parents, Tereza and Helio, for all love and care, and for all inc entives and support to my education, without which I would not be here. I thank my siblings, Rodrigo and Ana Paula for all love and company. My grandmother, Sebastiana, for being so strong and lovely, and for tell me the fantastic stories about my family. I also thank all the members of my family, incl uding Bellinha, Mnica and Gacho for taking care of those I love so much. I thank Pedro Constantino, meu companheiro, for all lo vely funny moments, for all support and incentive, and fo r having courage and disposition to stay with me all this years. I also thank Pedros family, which now is my family too. Claudia, you are the best mother-in-law in the earth; Marco Antonio an d Dulce for all incentive, love, and help; and Ana Luiza, and Lvia, my sisters in la w; Dona Teresinha e Seu Neyde, for all love and kindness. I thank my friends Juliana Marsico, A ndr Vtor, Fernanda Salvador, Karine Narahara, Marina Londres, Paula Pinheiro, Leonardo Pacheco, Ane Alencar, and all people from Boteco, for helping me survive the masters! I also thank the other friends that I love so much, whose names are not here, but that make my life funny and interesting. I thank a lot all people from the Plen pr oject, the coordinator s Reinaldo Bozelli, Marcela Siqueira, Lasa Santos, the forme r coordinator Alexandre Lopes, and all members of the team and of the Limnology Departmen t. The experience I had working with them was the motivation to engage in th e masters, and their support and incentive were fundamental to the devel opment of my research. I al so thank the Plen project participants, who gave me their attention, trust, and contribution to my research.

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5 I thank all Center for Latin American Studies staff and prof essors, that contribute a lot to my academic development during t he masters. I also thank all Tropical Conservation and Development Programs sta ff and professors, for providing me the conditions to deepen my interdisciplinary pers pective. I would like to give a special thank to Patricia Sampaio, for all her help, not only with documents and official procedures, but for her warm way of support us. I thank my advisor, Susan K. Jacobson, for believing in my capacity and work since the beginning, for giving me incentive to continue, help in providing the material conditions to my masters and research, and for carefully accompanying my progress. I also thank my lab colleagues that gave me good suggestions and funny moments. I thank Marianne Schmmink, not only for the very interesting and useful suggestions on my thesis, but also for giving to Pedro and I the incentive to come to UF, without which, we would not be here. I also thank Professor Martha Monroe, for good suggestions to my thesis, and for being such a ve ry nice professor in my first semester at UF. I thank Professor Kent Vliet for the oppor tunity of teaching at the Biological Science department, which prov ided me not only the necessary funds to my studies at UF during the fall 2009, but al so a great experience inside the classroom. I thank the Dexter Fellowship Program in Tropical C onservation Biology, which funded my masters studies during August 2009 and April 2010, and the Compton Foundation, which provide me research fund during the summer 2009.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS .................................................................................................. 4LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................ 8LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................... 9LIST OF ABBR EVIATIONS........................................................................................... 10CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................... 131.1 The Brazilian Environm ental Licensing Proc ess............................................... 141.2 Environmental Education for Public Environm ental Management.................... 171.3 The Plen Project Init iative............................................................................... 201.4 Group Formation and Soci al Capital Creation.................................................. 221.5 Research Questions......................................................................................... 272 METHODOLOGY, RESULT S AND DISC USSION ................................................. 312.1 Met hodology ..................................................................................................... 312.1.1 Group Maturity Meas urement.................................................................. 312.1.2 Evaluation of Project Plans...................................................................... 332.1.3 Self-initiat ed Initia tives............................................................................. 332.1.4 UFRJ Su ccess Sc ore.............................................................................. 342.1.5 Civil society parti cipation in the groups.................................................... 342.2 Results.............................................................................................................. 342.2.1 Group Maturity and Eval uation of Proj ect Plans...................................... 342.2.2 Group Maturity and Se lf-initiated Activities.............................................. 352.2.3 Group Maturity and UFRJ Success Score............................................... 362.2.4 Civil society parti cipation in the groups.................................................... 372.3 Discussion........................................................................................................ 392.3.1 Group Maturity and Project Plan Evaluation............................................ 392.3.2 Group Maturity and Se lf-initiated Activities.............................................. 423.3.3 Group Maturity and UFRJ Success Score............................................... 452.3.4 Another Relevant Aspect R egarding Group Maturity Scores: Group Lifespan......................................................................................................... 512.3.5 Civil society parti cipation in the groups.................................................... 532.3.5 Organizational Characteristics Influencing Social Capital Creation......... 562.4 Recommendations for Education fo r Public Environmental Management........ 573 CONCLUSION........................................................................................................ 71

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7 APPENDIX A CAPACITY BUILDI NG STRUC TURE ..................................................................... 74B INTERVIEW GUIDE: GROUP MA TURITY ............................................................. 77C CRITERIA TO EVALUATE PROJECT PLANS ....................................................... 81LIST OF RE FERENCES............................................................................................... 82BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH............................................................................................ 88

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Municipalities involved in the Plen Project, divided by meso-regions, and group membership description. .......................................................................... 282-1 Groups proj ect topics......................................................................................... 632-2 Group maturity score s per muni cipalit y.............................................................. 642-3 Self-initiated group activities of the Plen Project groups................................... 652-4 Criteria mentioned by t he UFRJ team as features of successful groups (n=8)... 662-5 Challenges for civil society participation in the groups (%)................................. 662-6 Advantages of civil society participation in the groups (%)................................. 67

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Map f the research area ..................................................................................... 302-1 Conceptual model of group maturity, adapted from Pretty and Ward 2001........ 682-2 Correlation between project evaluation score and maturity score...................... 682-3 Dendrogram of the hierarchical cl ustering (Wards met hod) and t-test............... 692-4 Correlation between the number of self -initiated activities and group maturity score................................................................................................................... 692-5 Correlation of UFRJ score and group maturity score, using (a) all 13 groups and (b) only 11 groups ........................................................................................ 702-6 Backward stepwise regr ession of UFRJ score and internal norms and rules (n=13)................................................................................................................. 70

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10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CONAMA Conselho Nacional de Me io Ambiente (Brazilian National Environmental Council) IBAMA Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e Recursos Renovveis (Federal Environmental Agency) TCA Technical Cooper ation Agreement UFRJ Universidade Federal do Rio de J aneiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) RESEX Reserva Extrativista (Extrative Reserve)

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11 Abstract of Thesis Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for t he Degree of Master of Science AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP CHARACTERISTICS ON CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR LOCAL ENVI RONMENTAL ACTON IN BRAZIL By Ana Carolina Crisostomo da Silva May 2010 Chair: Susan K. Jacobson Major: Latin American Studies The formation of groups has been examined as a strategy to build social capital and improve environmental management and civic participati on. In this study, I assessed characteristics of thirteen groups composed of public government workers and civil society representatives, which we re formed by an educat ional program within the scope of the Brazilian licensing process of oil and gas activities. I interviewed group members and measured group success to test a model of group maturity, in which maturity is associated with program success. Variables in the model include internal norms and rules, group lifespan, external li nks, and defined objectives. I tested for associations between maturity scores and project plan evaluation scores, number of self-initiated activities and success rated by the external agency. The results did not statistically support the hypothesis that more mature gr oups developed better project plans; however, more mature groups conducted more self-ini tiated activities and were ranked more successful by the external agency. Results suggest that group maturity is associated with successful activities. Differences in groups internal norms and rules accounted for changes in the external agency score. I suggest that the model additionally should include tempor al measurements of each variable, in order to make a

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12 more accurate assessment of group charac teristics. I discuss how organizational characteristics of groups as well as their ex ternal context influence the type of social capital formed, and thus its outcomes. I provide recommendations to improve educational projects in this public policy context. These include involving people with previous abilities or experienc es similar to project tasks; pr oviding capacity building for all participants, providing groups with c ontinuous tasks, stimul ating empowerment evaluation, providing support throughout the project life cycle, and increasing dialogue among the multi-scale instituti ons involved in the project.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Researchers are increasingly examining participatory approaches and the use of social capital in the promotion of civic participation (Edwards & Foley 1997; Thorp, Steward & Heyer, 2005). Undoubtedly, local co llectiv e actions and institutional designs that allow civic participation in national policies and programs are important to strengthen democracy. However, the success of group ac tion also depends on the objectives of the organization, its inter nal structure, and the motivation of the participants (Eastis, 1998). Ye t, few studies have investigated the influence of the internal characteristics of groups on t heir outcomes (Edwards & Foley, 1997). The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 and subsequent environmental laws guarantee a role for civil society to participate in public environmental management. However, the process of legitimizing these roles is st ill under development, and efforts to build capacity among civil society to access these roles are extremely important in this process (Loureiro, 2009). Effective participa tion in environmental management requires that participants understand the context in which decisions are made regarding the use and transformation of natural resources, th e risks and consequences of the decisions, the environmental agency st ructure, and the relevant legislation (Loureiro, 2009; Quintas, 2006). In this study, I analyzed an environment al education project developed under the licensing process of oil and gas activities in the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State. The Plen Project is an initiative that o ffered capacity building to public workers and representatives of civil society organizati ons of 13 municipalities affected by two development projects of Pe trobras, a Brazilian energy company. A capacity building

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14 program helped form and develop 13 groups co mposed of local government and civil society members. The group participants have designed and now are implementing their own projects to mitigate socio-environmental impacts of oil and gas activities. Each group selected activities for their municipa lity within a two year period. The Plen Project has been recognized by the Federal Environmental Agency (IBAMA) as an exemplary experience of educat ion for public environmental management of the oil and gas licensing process in Brazil. It will be used as a model to be replicated in other areas of oil and gas exploration. In this thesis, I explore the organizational characteristics of t he 13 groups formed in the Plen Project Context, using a model of group maturity, which analyzes group worldview, internal norms and rules, external links, and lifespan, to comprehend what factors are influencing the groups performance (Pretty & Ward, 2001). I aimed to understand how these factors influence group dynamics and success in order to make recommendations to the extern al agency, a group at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, as well as to IBAMA. This study should help in the development of environmental education programs aiming to in crease public participation in the public policies of the oil and gas licensing process. 1.1 The Brazilian Environmental Licensing Process The Brazilian Constitution from 1988 establ ishes that the protection of natural resources and environment is a responsibility of the government as well as citizens. Howev er, the appropriation and sharing of nat ural resources is complex, involving different stakeholders and interests, and oft en marked by conflicting interests. The government is assigned the role to mediate conflicts and confront interests through public environmental management, although the gov ernment itself may not be a neutral

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15 stakeholder (Quintas, 2006). The Brazilian government, due to its social, political and cultural history is marked by a dominance of private interests, which have been favoring economic elites over the majori ty of the population. In this context, it is important to ensure the participation of other civil society groups to assure a more transparent and fair decision-making process (Quintas, 2006). The licensing process for environmentally threatening activities in Brazil is a process determined by the National Envi ronmental Council CONAMA (CONAMA 1997), which requires the federal environmen tal agency (IBAMA) to set the standards the companies must follow in order to be a llowed to explore for natural resources. During this process the company must make an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and report (RIMA), in order to identify the impacts of the development as well as to develop compensatory and mitigatory ac tions, and to divulge the information collected (CONAMA, 1986). The RIMA thus is s ubmitted to the public, and during public meetings, people can make suggestions to the proposal, which may be accepted by the technicians directly responsible for the process (CONAMA, 1987; Serro, Walter & Vicente, 2009). These participatory discussions are recogni zed as having a strong potential to deepen democracy, combat corr uption, and generate redistri butive policies that can reduce social inequalities (A vritzer, 2009; Dagnino, 2002b). This potential to deepen democracy is born in the recognition of the complexity of processes and contexts, and in the multiple relationship s between political forces (D agnino, 2002b). Many social movements and environmental organizations hav e been fighting for a more participatory

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16 licensing process, but many obstacles ar e undermining the democratization of these issues. For instance, with the globa lization of the economy, processes happening in a local context respond to demands on a nati onal and global scale (Piquet, 2007). The shift from a regional demand to a national and/or international one disconnects the social, economic and environmental conditions of the region under ex ploration, reducing the benefits to the local and regional scale (Piquet, 2007). The environmental impact assessment (EIA) and report (RIM A) should identify the impacts of the development as well as set the compensatory and mitigator y actions. However, these reports are developed by institutions contracted by t he company responsible for the development, and give more emphasis to the environmental rather than the social aspect of the development, using specific technical knowledge and language, without inputs from the affected local groups (Glasson & Salvador, 2000). The information about the development itself is often not well publicized, thus people do not know about the RIMA or when t he public meetings will occur. Commonly, local groups dont know what such a public meeting (instrument of the law to obtain public inputs to the process) is and how to participate. In addition, the asymmetry of power between the national and international economic forces willing to explore for natural resources, and the local groups dire ctly affected, aggravated by the lack of resources and skilled government personnel to mediate conflicts, unbalance the process to favor the most powerfu l groups (Uema, 2009; Dagnino, 2002a). The legislation regarding the licen sing process began with the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, and received more detailed description through the National

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17 Environmental Policy (Brasil, 1981), the Law of Environmental Crimes (Brasil, 1998), and a group of resolutions made by CONAMA. The legislation for oil and gas specifically started in 2000, when the oil law (Brasil, 2000) was created in response to two large oil spills in the Rio de Janeiro and Par states. It also was concomitant with the breakdown of the monopoly of oil exploration in Br azil and the creation of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) (Loureiro, 2009). The impacts of oil and gas activities are social and environm ental, positive and negative. The Brazilian legislat ion defines environmental impact as any alteration in the physical, chemical and biological properti es of the environment caused by materials and/or energy resulting from the human activities that directly or indirectly affect the health, security and wellbeing of the population, the social and economic activities, the biota, and the aesthetic value and quality of the natural res ources (CONAMA, 1986). The impacts of oil and gas activities incl ude changes in the municipality population structure, territory organizati on, the political process, loca l culture, and municipal budget from inputs of royalty m oney, as well as environmental impacts (Piquet, 2007). Research on local peoples perception of impacts of oil and gas activities (Marsico, 2008), identifies that the most perceived impacts are environm ental (oil spill, pollution, environmental degradation), an increase in the municipality population size (migration), creation of jobs, and the corpor ate social responsibility progr ams. Many indirect impacts are perceived by the local population as havi ng an important impact on the municipality. 1.2 Environmental Education for P ublic Environmental Management In 1999, the National Environmental Educat ion Policy (Law 9795/1999) was created and mandated a legal obligation to include environmental education as a required action to obtain environmental licenses (Loureiro & Anello, 2009). The

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18 objectives of inserting this educational co mponent in the mitigation process are to guarantee public awareness of licensing proce sses, to build knowledge that allows responsible and qualified positioning of involved stakeholders, and to broaden the participation and mobilizat ion of affected groups in all ph ases of the licensing process including public participatory meetings and other public venues (Loureiro, 2009). The law is valid for all types of economic activi ties potentially threatening to the environment; however, only the oil and gas licensing se ctor has implemented the educational component, and in 2005 specific guidelin es were developed for planning and implementation of these programs (IBAMA, 2005). The law states that these environmental education guid elines should affirm the role of civil society organizations in the management of natural re sources, making use of an interdisciplinary, democratic and participatory approach (Brasil, 1999). The educational process should be continuous and should stimulate a critical analysis of the environmental and social problems by the participants (IBAMA, 2005). The education process for public envir onmental management was created in 1995, within the governmental sector, by tw o educators of the def unct Environmental Education Division of IBAMA, Jos Quinta s and Maria Jos Gualda (Layrargues, 2000). The authors state as premises of the public environment al management process the following aspects: In this context, environmental educati on should create conditions The access and use of natural resources causes conflicts. Different stakeholders have different pow er to transform the environment, and to influence the decision making regarding the transformation. Environmental management is a process of conflict mediat ion, and decisions dictate who is going to receive benefits and who is going to incur cost s from the use of natural resources.

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19 The asymmetry in the dist ribution of benefits and costs ar e not self-evident, and the notion of sustainability has many different meanings. Environmental risks and damages are not always self-evident, and are not only a cognitive issue, but also influenced by cu ltural, political and structural factors. Participation and social control under natural resources management depend on overcoming the power asymmetries. The collective mobilization and participat ion in environmental management require cognitive and material re sources to be organized. of exchange and production of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable the participants to autonomously decide and represent their interests to transform the social and environmental conditions under which they are submitted (Loureiro, 2009). This approach of environmental education is linked to the concept of liberation education, developed by Paulo Freire (1987), as well as education for citizenship stated in the Declaration of Tblis i (1977). It is based on a dialectic process of acquiring knowledge to modify a reality and at the same time to be modified, in which the subject must become able to contextualize the new knowledge in historical time, recognize different types of knowledge beyond t he technical and scientific, and recognize participation in public life as a venue to build citizenship and to deal with the inequalities in the distribution of what is socially constr ucted (Freire, 1987). For this thesis, I will use the term environmental education (EE) interchangeably with what I have previously described as education for public environmental management. The field of environmental education is st ill in a process of definition. It is composed of a range of diffe rent educational practices, which uses different methodologies in terms of the use of cogni tive and emotional aspects, biological and social contexts, positive and negative appr oaches (Layrargues, 2000). One important problem is related to the lack of evaluation of environmental educati on initiatives, which

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20 contributes to a lack of information regardi ng their areas of success and failure (Jacobson 2009), and contributes to a devaluat ion of these educational initiatives, impeding their institutionalization and funding (Andrade & Loureiro, 2001). 1.3 The Plen Project Initiative The case analyzed in this paper examines an environmental educ ation program in the oil and gas licens ing process of two platfo rms in the Campos Bay, northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State. The company responsib le for the exploratio n, Petrobras, is an energy company created by the Brazilian gov ernment in 1953. Now it has a mix of national and international capital, but it operates under the jurisdiction of the Brazilian federal government, and still has the status of a nati onal company among the populace (Piquet 2003). A group from the Federal Un iversity of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) is responsible for the design and implementation of the Plen project, which started in 2006. The initiative of this group of UFRJ is also an attempt to amplify the extension work the university has done in the interior of Rio de Janeiro state, in the new campus in the region. The project, which encompasses 13 municipalities (Table 1-1, Figure 1-1), selected public workers of the local Environm ental and Educational Secretariats, as well as representatives of local civil soci ety organizations to form groups (one per municipality). The number of participants pe r group was proportionally related to the size of the local population, varying from 2 to 8 participants (Proje to Plen, 2009). In total there are 45 people, 30 fr om the local government and 15 from civil society (Table 1-1). The capacity building program offered by the UFRJ to the public workers was composed of 4 workshops, each one-week long, interspersed with forums and

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21 monitoring visits made by the UFRJ coordinators, which took a total of two years. The scope of the course was organized to includ e the principles of environmental education in the licensing process, the legislation related to the oil and gas licensing process, impacts and mitigatory actions, notions of participatory methodologies, project elaboration, and evaluation (Appendix A). In addition, there were short-term courses (one weekend) for representatives of local civil society organizations, in order to give them a general idea of the education for publ ic environmental management and conflict analysis, and prepare them to work together with the government representatives. At the time of the study, one capacity-building course for t he public workers and three for the representatives of the ci vil society were conducted. The differences in the capacity-building c ourses offered characterize the emphasis of the project in increasing the capacity of public workers to work with civil society organizations and communities affected by oil and gas activities in the municipality. As a consequence, not all groups have civil soci ety representatives among their members (Table 1-1). In order to establish the scenario for the project development, each municipal secretariat was invited to sign a Technica l Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the UFRJ and Petrobras, in which they agree to provide ei ght hours per week of release time from workers normal duties, to be dedicated to the project, and to provide a physical space for the offices of the groups. Each group was equipped with a desktop computer, printer, office furniture and a small collection of books. In October 2008, the groups st arted the development of t heir own projects related to the impact of oil and gas production in t heir municipalities. All groups have a budget

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22 of $ 11,049 to implement the projects. The projects should be developed within 2 years after the IBAMA approval, and should use t he principles of education for public environmental management. One important aspect of the Plen Project is the participation of public government workers as well as civil society representatives. Considering that the state should be the mediator of the different inte rests of the civil society groups it is important that the public workers have the necessary skills to conduct mediation for environmental management, as well as to recognize the impor tance of civil society groups in this process (Baqueiro, 2003; Quintas, 2006; Thor p, Steward & Heyer, 2005). The lack of skills of public functionaries responsible for the participatory institut ions is one of the mechanisms that blocks an effective shar ing of power between the state and civil society (Dagnino, 2002b). In this sense, the project has the potential to contribute to the improvement of public workers skills, as we ll as to start a partnership between them and the local civil society. 1.4 Group Formation and So cial Capital Creation Recently, the approac h of collective action and group formation has received worldwide attention with the popul arization of the social capital concept by the work of political scientist Robert Pu tnam (1993). For him, social capital is defined as the features of social organizations, such as networks, norms, and trust, that facilitate action and cooperation for mutual benefit (Putnam, 1993). The adoption of the concept is in part a search for new paradigms with which to confront the problem s of contemporary society (Edwards & Foley, 1997). Researchers have criticized Putnams defin ition because of his generalization of associational life to civic engagement (Edwards & Foley, 1997); the bias for the positive

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23 aspects of social capital and neglect of negat ive aspects (Portes, 1998); and confusion between the causes and outcomes of social capi tal (Lin, 1999). In spit e of criticisms, the concept has been widely used in the study of social networks and social relations. A different treatment of the concept c an be seen between political scientists and economists, and other social scientists. The first group uses the concept in a more normative way, focusing on relationships among associations, generalized trust and other attitudes and norms, and social, economic and political outcomes. Network analysts and applied social scientists adopted ve rsions of the concept more in keeping with the social structure, emphasizing indivi dual and organizational ties in predicting individual advancement or collective action (Foley & Edwards, 1999). The definition of social capital I adopt in this thesis follows Bourdier (1986), which is the aggregate of the actual and potential re sources which are linked to possession of a durable network of relationships of mu tual acquaintance and recognition which provides each of its members with the ba cking of the collectivity-owned capital, a credential which entitle s them to credit, in the various senses of the word. The resources stated above can be seen in terms of financial resources, knowledge, skills and abilities, which also c an be called economic and cultur al capital (Bourdier, 1986; Coleman, 1988; Oh, C hung & Labianca, 2004). It has been identified that social capital is an asset that reduces the costs of collective actions, and facilitates cooperat ion (Pretty &Ward, 2001). Taking advantage of this conception of social capital, many development agencies aiming to reduce poverty, as well as to generate participator y natural resource management and conflict resolution related to natural resources, hav e been investing in creating social capital,

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24 which in this case means creating groups and networks (Portes & Landolt, 2000). In this process, scientists have been neglecting struct ural conditions under which social capital is created, and how this affects the type of resource obtained in social relationships. Therefore, it is important to consider that not all social capital is equal. It varies according to peoples values and attitudes, inte rests and structural conditions (Edwards & Foley, 1997). Moreover, depending on the type of social capital, it may or may not generate positive outcomes for the collectivit y, and for democracy (Foley & Edwards, 1999; Edwards & Foley, 1997). Literature describing criticism of the soci al capital approach argues that it neglects structural factors, such as cultural and hi storic aspects (Portes, 1998), institutional design (Cleaver, 2005), the relations of power in an existing social structures (Adhikari & Goldey, 2010), and the structural condition of groups, especially the poor and very poor, which prevents them from having access to resources, to hav e room to maneuver, and to represent their interests (Cleaver, 200 5; Thorp, Steward & Heyer, 2005). Another criticism is the lack of c oncern with gender and ethnic inequalities in social capital approaches (Cleaver, 2005; Moly neux, 2002). On the other hand, the positive aspects of the approach are that it facilitates collective actions through the reduction of transactional costs of monitoring and enforce ment of natural resources management (Folke, Hahn, Olsson & Norberg, 2005; Pretty & Ward, 2001), increases peoples access to microcredit initiatives (Anderson, Locker & Nugent, 2002), and increases their power of influencing policy decision-maki ng and implementation (Jacobi & Monteiro, 2006; Paxton, 2002).

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25 It is important to note that social capita l cannot substitute for the provision of education, health, and other structural res ources, and should not be understood as the only solution for development problems, such as poverty and inequality. Instead it can be seen as an important component of the process to fight these problems, especially considering evidence of the effectiveness of participatory groups and associations in bringing about equitable and sustainable so lutions to local development problems (Jacobi & Monteiro, 2006; Pretty, 1995). Some research recognizes the importance of within group social capital (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Oh, Chung & Labianca, 2004; Up ton, 2008; Adhikari & Goldey, 2010). When a group is formed, a series of soci al and organizational changes take place, shaping the group performance and resilienc e (Pretty & Ward, 2001). Organizational characteristics lead to different social pr ocesses and structures that are expected to change over time, influencing group performanc e and the production of social capital (Eastis, 1998; Pretty & Ward, 2001). An understanding of group performance is important to ensure that programs that are forming gr oups are achieving their objectives. Reflection of perfo rmance can also contribute to the identification of weak aspects that should be improved, as well as the strengths of the programs and policies (Curtis, Van Nouhuys, Robinson & Mackay, 1999). In terms of group development, Gersick (1988) described two main streams of research on group development, one related to group dynamics, and the other related to phases of group problem solving. More recently, Pretty and Ward (2001) reviewed the evolution of organizational structures, commonly characterizing divers ity in structure and performances, also

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26 according to stages or phases. From this re view, they developed a typology to describe the evolution of human and social capital in groups. The typology proposes that groups can be found to be at three stages of maturi ty, namely reactive-dependence, realizationindependence and awarenessindependence. However, it is not clear if the typology describes discrete stages or whether there is a continuum of steady change (Pretty & Ward, 2001). The reactive-dependence is the least mature stage, in which the group is created in response to a threat or cris is, and its objective is simply to address a specific desired outcome for which it was created. There is some recognition of group value, but the group does not decide rules and norms of o peration, which tend to be externally suggested or borrowed. Individuals are still looking for external solutions, and tend to be dependent on external facilitators. Realiz ation-independence is the middle stage. Groups in this stage are growing in independenc e, making sense of their new realities, increasing investment time in the group, developing thei r own norms and rules, and developing horizontal links with other groups Awareness-independence is the highest stage of maturity, in which the groups are st able, difficult to br eak down, evolving in norms and rules they have developed, creating new venues to act, and confident in the group potential to change their situation. These stages of maturity are progressive ly associated with the performance of the groups. Therefore, groups in the more mature stage are expected to be more successful in obtaining their planned outco mes than groups in the middle and lower stages, and similarly, groups in the middle stage are expected to achieve more of their planned outcomes than groups in the lower stages. This model is different from the

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27 previous one because the author s used studies with therapy groups with very specific and inward tasks as well as naturally occurri ng groups responsible for creating concrete products for outside use and evaluation (Gersick, 1988; Tuckman, 1965). Westermann and colleagues (200 5) created some indicato rs to systematize the variables described above, in a study of gender influences on social capital manifested in groups for natural resource management. Ho wever, there are signi ficant challenges to the functionality of models that describe group devel opment, such as exploring how groups change from one stage or phase of development to another, the influence of the context and group life-span on group changes, and how to create and maintain group cohesion (Zander, 1979). In addition, it is important to understand if non-linear development models are sufficient to understand group developm ent (Gersick, 1988). Pretty and Ward (2001) also question how to encourage transformations that will lead to more mature groups and sustained progress, which needs further investigation to be answered. 1.5 Research Questions This study considered the 13 groups fo rmed within the Projeto Plen context, to test Pretty and Wards (2001) supposition that more mature groups would be more successful than less mature groups. Due to ti me and scheduling cons traints, I was not able to analyze the actual development of each groups projects. Instead, I used each groups final project plans as one indicator to evaluate group success. Considering that systematic planning, implem entation and evaluation are foundations for effective programs (Jacobson, 2009), I assumed that t he quality of the 13 groups project plans would be a reliable indicator of the gr oups potential to accomplish its planned outcomes.

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28 I also collected information on groups self-ini tiated activities, in order to verify if more mature groups have also completed addi tional activities, not suggested by UFRJ, while less mature groups have not. A third i ndicator of group success involved the UFRJ coordinators in rating each project on a 5-point scale. My research questions were organized as follows: Do the groups in the awareness independence stage have more complete and systematic final project plans than gr oups in the reactive-dependence and realization-indepen dence stages? Have more mature groups completed addi tional self-initiated activities, not suggested by the UFRJ team, such as presentations, organized public meetings, and participation in forum and other groups while less mature groups have not? How is group success as assessed by UFRJ team associated with group maturity? I explored the causes for these conditi ons through guided discussion, as well as identified critical points to be developed in order to assure group resilience and good performance. Based on my findings, I make recommendations for the improvement of education for environmental management pr ograms in the licensing process. Table 1-1. Municipalities involved in the Plen Project, divided by meso-regions, and group membership description. Number of public workers Number of short term capacity building participants Mesoregions Municipalities EnvironmentalEducational Government (technician or teacher) Organizations of civil society Total number of members Baixadas Casimiro de Abreu 1 2 3

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29 Table 1-1. Continued. Number of public workers Number of short term capacity building participants Mesoregions Municipaliti es Environment al Education al Government (technician or teacher) Organizatio ns of civil society Total number of members Rio das Ostras 143 8 Araruama 22 4 Armao dos Bzios 1112 5 Arraial do Cabo 2 2 Cabo Frio 12 3 Baixadas Saquarema 02 2 Norte Fluminense Campos dos Goytacazes 131 5 So Francisco de Itabapoana 111 3 So Joo da Barra 1 2 3 Carapebus 2* Quissam 11 2 Maca 22 4 *In Carapebus, the two public workers are fr om the Secretariat of Culture. This secretariat release time from the worker s normal duties and gave a physical space to the group.

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30 Figure 1-1. Map f the resear ch area. A) Rio de Janeiro St ate divided in meso-regions: 1-Baixadas meso-region, 2-Norte Fluminense meso-region; B) Municipalities involved in the Plen Project, and t he oil and gas fields offshore surrounded by a red line. Sources: Fundao Cide and Petrobras.

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31 CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 2.1 Methodology During May to July 2009 I conducted semi-structured interviews with the groups members of the Plen Project, as well as with the UFRJ coordination team. The members included representatives of loca l government and civil society organizations that worked on a regular basis with a group, for a total of 45 people. The UFRJ coordination team is composed of three general coordinators, four group coordinators, who monitor the groups closely, and one psyc hologist, for a total of eight people. I also collected copies of the Plen Project biannual tec hnical reports, in which they have registered all activiti es under the scope of the projec t, as well as self-initiated activities developed by the groups. I used the reports to assess the self-initiated activities developed by the gr oups. In addition, I collected copi es of the 13 project plans developed by the groups, in order to a ssess group success through the evaluation of their project plans. Individual and group interviews were recorded for subsequent analysis. All statistical analyses made in this study were run in the JMP program, version 8.0. 2.1.1 Group Maturity Measurement The group maturity measurement was based on the model proposed by Pretty and Ward (2001). The vari ables I used includ ed worldview and sense-making, internal norms and rules, external links and networks, and group lifespan (Figure 2-1). The worldview and sense making variable is rela ted to what degree members perceive to be the groups objective, going beyond the task suggested by the UFRJ coordinators. The measurement of internal norms and rules ar e related to what degree the groups have

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32 internal division of labor, regular meetings, recognition of group value, and self-analysis. The external links and networks measures are related to individual horizontal links (organizations in the same level of power) an d vertical links (organizations with action on a broader scale). The group lifespan variable measure is related to the groups ability to solve internal conflicts (resilience), and th eir chance to continue after the first project implementation (persistence). I excl uded the concept of technologies and improvements, present in the Pretty and Ward (2001) model, because of its specificity to the use of technologies to manage natural re sources, which is not pertinent in this context. The 12 open-ended questions used to access information with groups members, are based on Westermann et al. (2005) (Ap pendix B). The variables have different numbers of component questions based on my ability to operationalize all the variables and preserve the internal vali dity of the measurement. To each questions response, a three-point scale value was allotted, and the value of each question was calculated as the mean of the individual response scores. The variable was calculated as the mean of each component question, and group maturity was calculated as the mean of the variable scores, so that the higher the group score, the greater the group maturity. As I work ed with the average fo r all calculations including the group maturity, the number of questions per variable did not imply a different weight in the matu rity score. The intervals of each stage of maturity were calculated by the higher maturity score divided by three. I recorded and took notes on all qualitat ive explanations of each maturity measurement. The interview guide was pretested twice, to ce rtify whether the

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33 indicators and the way the questions were fo rmulated were meaningfully capturing the ideas contained in the respective variables (Adcock & Collier, 2001; Bryman, 2008). A hierarchical cluster analysis was run to ident ify any distinguishable sub-group division within the groups according to similarities wi thin the variables scores, and a T-test was run to identify the variable(s) responsible fo r the similarities. I also used descriptive statistics to analyze the data. 2.1.2 Evaluation of Project Plans The evaluation of the groups project proposals followed t he criteri a described by Jacobson (2009) for systematic planning, im plementation, and eval uation of effective programs. The criteria are composed of eight items, four of which were posed as questions in the interviews (Appendix C). Each evaluation item was assigned a onepoint value, and some of the items were composed of sub-items with a summed value equal to one. The evaluation score is the su m of each item; the higher the score, the better the group planning proposal. To answer research question 1, verifyi ng if there is an association between maturity measurement and project plan eval uation score, I ran a correlation analysis with the group maturity and the pr oject plan evaluation scores. 2.1.3 Self-initi ated Initiatives I analyzed all reports of the Plen Project development, to identify activities completed by the groups that were not suggested by the UFRJ team. In order to answer research ques tion 2, and identify if there is a relationship between group maturity score and number of self -initiated activities, I ran a correlation analysis.

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34 2.1.4 UFRJ Success Score During the interviews with the UFRJ team, I asked what criteria they would use to characterize a successful group. After this, I asked them to classify each group using the criteria they had descr ibed, on a 5-point scale. In order to answer research question 3, veri fying if there is an association between the UFRJ team score and the group maturity measurement, I ran a Pearson correlation analysis. To verify which variable of group ma turity is most associated with the UFRJ success score, I conducted a multiple regre ssion analysis using all the components of group maturity as independent variables in relation to the UFRJ success score to create the full model. From this full model I conduc ted backward stepwise selection excluding explanatory variables with p>0.1. As only one explanatory variable was included in the minimal model, no further analysis was needed. I also used descriptive statistics to analyze the data. 2.1.5 Civil society partic ipation in the groups During the interviews, I asked open-ended qu estions to participants, both public workers and civil society representatives. Questions were about the difficulties and advantages of working in a group compos ed by public workers and civil society representatives. The responses were analy z ed using qualitative content analysis. 2.2 Results 2.2.1 Group Maturity and Evaluation of Project Plans There was no signific ant correlation bet ween group maturity and evaluation of project plan score (r=0.23, p=0.44; Figure 2-2). Table 2-1 shows a description of the topics of the groups projects.

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35 The maturity values vary from 1.75 to 2. 60 (Table 2-2). Two groups were classified in the reactive-dependence stage, six were classified as realization-independent groups, and five were classified as awareness-independent groups. The cluster analysis identified two main groups (Wards link age method, distance=3. 55), grouped by the variables internal norms and rules (t=3.81, p<0.05) and group lifesp an (t=2.80, p<0.05), as shown in figure 2-3. 2.2.2 Group Maturity and Se lf-initiated Activities A total of 26 self-initiated activities were identified in project reports. The number of self-initiated activities was not correlated to the group maturity measurement at p level lower than 0.05 (r= 0.483, p=0.095; Figure 2-4) although there is a strong trend. In addition, groups in the awareness -independe nce stage participated/ organized more self-initiated activities than groups in the ot her two stages of maturity, and based on that I will assume that the correlati on was marginally significant. Self-initiated activities in celebration of Environment Day on June 5th were the most common self-initiated activity of groups. Other activities are related to municipalities organizing meetings among themselves to discuss their group dynamics and projects (So Joo, So Francisco and Campos dos Goytacazes), and the organization of one meeting with the Secret ariats of Education and Environment of three municipalities (Arraial do Cabo, Cabo Fr io and Armao dos Bzios), with the goal of explaining to the offici als the Plen Project, their ro le in the project, and the importance of the capac ity building process, aiming to increase the support given by the local government to the projec t. The municipality of Araruama influenced the creation of a decree institutionalizing the environmental education group formed by the Plen Project in the municipality, and the municipa lity of Maca influenced the creation of a

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36 law that institutionalizes the Technical Cooperation Agreemen t. Four groups are involved in collective public venues. Ar aruama and So Francisco are involved respectively with an environmental educatio n technical chamber of a watershed committee, and with a Consultive Council of the Guaxindiba Ecological Reserve. Maca and Rio das Ostras, due to the nature of their projects, are involved in collective public spaces under the City Master Plan (Bras il 2001), respectively with the Council of Royalties and the Participatory Budget (Table 2-3) 2.2.3 Group Maturity and UFRJ Success Score There is no statistically significant correlation between the UFRJ success score and group, although there is a trend (r=0.33, p=0.26; Figur e 2-5a). The groups from Cabo Frio and Rio das Ostras had internal cl eavages during the time I intervi ewed the UFRJ team and the group itself. In one case the group had recently lost one member because of internal conflicts. This was not perceived yet by the UFRJ team as impacting the group performance, which classified it as a successful group, while the group classified itself as having low maturity. In the other case the opposite pattern happened, with the UFRJ perceiving the group as havin g substantial problems, but the group, recently re-structured with new members, di d not identify the same negative aspects. As a result, the UFRJ classified it as unsuccessful while the group perceived itself as mature. Running the correlation without these two groups, the correlation result was almost significant and with a strong trend (r =0.58, p=0.056; Figure 2-5b), which corroborates the idea that these two groups are outliers. Considering the small size of the sample (n=13), the strong trend and the p value, I will consider that there is a positive significant correlation between gr oup maturity and the UFRJ success score, with p<0.1.

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37 A qualitative content analysis identified that three criteria described by the UFRJ are also components of the maturity measur ement (Table 2-4), yet the frequency of occurrence of these common com ponents per coordinator was low. The backward stepwise selection result shows internal norms and rules as the variable of the group maturity measurement mo st correlated to the UFRJ score (R2 adj =0.34, p 0.05; Figure 2-6). In all models tested, internal norms and rules was the only significant variable, and was always positively correlated to the UFRJ team score. 2.2.4 Civil society partic ipation in the groups The groups from Casimiro de Abreu, Rio das Ostras, Armao dos Bzios, and So Joo da Barra, consist of public workers and civil society representatives who work on a regular basis. They have regular m eetings, and plan and implement activities related to their group project and self-initi ated activities. These groups do not have an internal hierarchy, and mem bers appreciate the complement ary perspectives created by the meeting between civil society and gov ernment. The groups from Campos dos Goytacazes, So Francisco do Itabapoana and Quissam do not have civil society representatives participating in their regular activities, but have them participating in the self-initiated activities they promote. W hen this research was conducted, the group from Saquarema was trying to involve the civil society representatives. The groups from Arraial do Cabo and Araruama e Cabo Frio do not have contact with the civil society representatives from these muni cipalities, involved in the short term capacity building of the Plen Project (Table 2-5 and Table 2-6). Each municipality has a di fferent context, which shapes the relationships among public workers and the civil society represent atives, and hence their work as a group. Despite the contextual particularities some common perceptions regarding the

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38 difficulties and advantages of working with t he civil society representatives can be identified, as described in Table 2-5 and Table 2-6. The difficulties perceived by the two stakeholder groups with this relationship are public worker fear of political problems, lack of financial resources to promote civil society participation (t ransportation, food, etc.), and civil society repres entative impatience wit h the lack of short term results and the pace of the Plen project. The difficultie s perceived by groups that had civil society participants in their self-initiated activities are the lack of financial resources to promote civil society participation, difficulty in arranging convenient meeting times, civil society representative dissatisfaction with the pace of the Plen project, public worker fear of negative political reactions, and lack of motivation of civil society members to work as a group. Groups that did not have contact with civil society representatives stated that it was due to a lack of motivation/identificati on with the cause on the part of the civil society representative, the difficulty to fi nd convenient meeting times, lack of financial resources to promote civil society partici pation, and public work er fear of negative political reactions. The advantages perceived by the groups with civil society members are the commitment of members, the legitimacy given by civil society to group work, civil society freedom of speech, focus on the work, and to have input of the previous experience from civil society to group. Among the groups with civil society participating in their selfinitiated activities the perceived advantages were to have more people to work, and input of previous experience from civil soci ety to group. The groups that have no contact with the civil society repres entatives stated that the adv antages would be to have more

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39 people to work, input of previous experience from civil society to group, and the freedom of speech of the civil society. 2.3 Discussion Group maturity was associated with severa l elements of group success. This study assessed these relationships based on three success criteria: project plan evaluatio n; occurrence of self-initiated activities ; and ratings by UFRJ, the coordinating organization. 2.3.1 Group Maturity and Project Plan Evaluation One possible explanation for the l ack of correlation between the maturity score and the project plan evaluation score is the support given by the UFRJ to all groups during project planning. All groups declared they received this support continuously during the writing process. T hus, the projects were not only a product of the groups, which would reflect the group maturity, but al so, a result of the joint work of group members and the UFRJ team. This fact confounds the influence of maturity on the group project, possibly resulting in the lack of significant associat ion between the two scores. During the elaboration stage, each group wa s urged to define ev aluation criteria. However, most indicators developed by the par ticipants lack clarity and objectivity. This is probably due to the fact that the partici pants do not have much experience in planning and implementing projects, as they stated. Most people declared t hey have experience in implementing projects planned by their superiors, and in being evaluated, more than they can self-evaluate. Theref ore, the creation of evaluative indicators is one initial step in their learning process, which will proba bly be better understood as their projects begin.

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40 Another possible explanation is related to the top-down nature of the public policy and the Plen project. The pr oject plans developed by each group were not constructed in response to local community demands, but instead, were constructed in response to a demand of the state. Following a participatory approach, many projects have as initial activities the implementation of socio-envir onmental diagnostics, in order to understand the communitys needs and to build on that. As a consequence, some items lack clarity of objectives and methodologies, and lack previ ous community consultation, resulting in a low project evaluation score. Part of this lack of clarity should be addressed after the planned diagnostic, in which gr oups will have a better idea of the local communities demands, and willingness to participat e in the group project. Project development is a very important phas e of the Plen project, because it is at that stage that the proj ect will reach the groups most affected by the oil and gas activities. The projects were planned based on the perceived issues that the participants identify in each municipality, and as a re sult, they show different approaches. The impacts of the oil and gas exploration vary from one region to another. The municipalities in the Baixadas meso-region (T able 1-1), with the exception of Rio das Ostras, tend to perceive fewer impacts of the oil and gas development, because of their physical distance from their operations on land (Marisco, 2008). The municipalities in the Norte Fluminense meso-region feel more impacts of the development through the company activities on land, and the use of ma ritime space in the region (Marisco, 2008). As a consequence, the municipalities in t he Baixadas meso-region are working with the principles of public environmental managemen t applied to their local context, and using oil issues as a complementary discussion (Tabl e 2-1). They plan to foster the target

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41 social groups organizations by discussing and organizing their demands. The municipalities of the Norte Fluminense region are working with communities directly affected by oil and gas activities, such as communities of fishermen and communities affected by pipelines (Table 2-1). Participants identify some difficulties that can undermine their performance in implementing the projec t. One problem is the short time they can dedicate to project development. Most participants have eight hours per week of release time from normal duties. However, in many cases they have the same work load as before the project, and cannot dedicate all eight hours to the proj ect. In addition, some participants said that even the eight hours of release time is not enough to accomplish all the tasks they have to promote the project. Another major concern for participants is how to get the interest of the local communities in order to participate in t heir projects. Six groups did not visit the communities when planning their projects. At the time of the interviews, some groups were launching their projects, and in some ca ses, the communities with which they were willing to work were not presen t. The participants concern is l egitimate; it is difficult to get local communities involved in new projects developed by external agencies, especially those that do not pr omote immediate, material outcomes, but only a learning process that will provide outcomes in a medium or long term. This situation can be seen with the fishing communities in the region, wh ich were targets of different projects and policies, but whose structural conditions still did not improve (Moraes, 2004). Other perceived challenges are related to the physical distance from their offices to the communities, which in some cases is far; how to create a strategy to deal with

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42 government oversight and attempts of group cooptation; how to find extra time to dedicate to the project; and to be pr epared and motivated to work with local communities, with whom most participants do not have experience. The continuous support of the UFRJ team is important in this context to motivate and help the participants define strategies to deal with these difficulties. 2.3.2 Group Maturity and Self-initiated Activities Groups in the higher s tages of maturity had significantly more self-initiated activities. More mature groups shape their r ealities forward with a critical perspective, are aware of group value and the value of par tnerships, and are more likely to make partnerships to achieve higher-level goals (Pretty & Ward 2001). The group with the most self-initiated activiti es is Campos dos Goytacazes. This is related to initiatives from the group itself as well as to stimulus given by the Education Secretariat. The Secretariat w ants the group to develop activiti es with the teachers of the municipal public schools. In fluence from officials is also seen in Carapebus, where the Secretariat wants the group to develop ac tivities using their own target audience (children and elders). Demands from the local Secretariats can become a challenge to the participants, since they have the same amount of time to plan, develop and implement their group project and what the Secretariat demands. The groups from Campos dos Goytacazes So Joo da Barra and So Francisco do Itabapoana work in a partnership. They ar e all in the Norte Fluminense region, sharing similar socio-environmental problems, such as impacted fishing communities. In response to this, they developed an ev ent that brought t ogether governmental representatives of the thr ee municipalities, to discu ss problems related to the mangroves in the region, as well as the we ll-being of the fishermen that rely on this

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43 environment. They also promote regular meeti ngs to discuss their projects, difficulties and potentialities, and to help dev elop each others projects. These groups seem to be motivated by t he Plen project, using the resources and opportunities offered by the project, such as proximity to researchers and logistical support to develop joint actions in their municipalities. The support given by the Secretariats is important to ma ke these self-initiated activiti es happen, to give visibility to their work, and to justify t heir released time from norma l duties. At the same time, visibility of activities is an important strategy to inhibit the Secretar iats from manipulating group activity. The incorporation of the groups and their projects by the Secretariats through a manipulative approach would unde rmine the participator y framework that groups are trying to develop, and the polit ical dialogue about participatory ideas (Dagnino, 2002b). The group in Araruama influenced the creat ion of a decree inst itutionalizing the environmental education office, with the support of the former mayor. The decree states that the office should be run by the people who passed the capacitybuilding course of the Plen project. In this case, the group tri ed to ensure their priority in using the space and resources. The group from Maca follow ed a similar path. With the support of a former alderman, the group in fluenced the creation of a law institutionalizing the technical cooperation agreement (TCA). T he law legitimized the release time and activity development offices allotted to public workers. While the in stitutionalization of the office and TCA does not guarantee that it will be respected, the existence of the legal requirement is a first step toward fu lfilling the legal obli gation (Dagnino, 2002a). The use of these resources must be secured; since many secretariats lack equipment

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44 such as modern computers (Projeto Plen, 2006), and there is a risk that this equipment will be incorporated to secretariat patrimony, and the groups will lose the priority to use it in their projects. Most of the activities that the gro ups promoted were related to forums and presentations. It is interesting to note that the audiences of these activities are mostly students (high school and undergr aduate) and local government officials. Just two activities reached local communities through media, besides schools. In the case of Arraial do Cabo, the group in Arraial do Cabo developed an activity for fishermen as a first step in their own project, which aimed to improve communication to reduce social and environmental conflicts in the marine extractive reserve (RESEX). In the second case, the group from So Joo da Barra prom oted an event in the community of one of the civil society representatives. In these cases, groups shared their discussions with a local community, and strengthened the re lationship with group members. Four groups are involved in public colle ctive venues for civil participation in environmental issues. Araruama and So Francisco do Itabapoana are involved respectively in an Environmental Education Technical Chamber of a Watershed Committee, and with a Consultive Management Council of the Guax indiba Ecological Reserve. In the case of Araruama, t he member who had attended the EE Chamber before the project is now r epresenting the Plen group. The So Francisco group was invited in recognition of their work in the municipality. Maca and Rio das Ostras developed projects that aim ed to strengthen venue participat ion under the City Master Plan (Brasil, 2001) the Royalties Council and the Participatory Budget Council, respectively. Therefore, it is part of t heir project to be present in these venues.

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45 Group maturity resulted in more self-initiated activities that gave visibility to group actions, which in some cases increased the Secretariats support to groups, reduced the risk of group manipulation, helped secure equipment, and also provided an opportunity for groups to discuss their projects and dynamics. 3.3.3 Group Maturity and UFRJ Success Score There is a signific ant positive correla tion between group maturity and the UFRJ success score, which suggests that the Pretty and Ward (2001) model of group maturity is a reliable indicator of groups success, and can be used as a basis for group interventions, to improve their work effect iveness. Two different scales were used to measure maturity versus UFRJ success rating, and the two scores may have influenced the results. The variables taken into consideration by the UFRJ success score are: a good relationship with the Secretariats; member motivation and self-identification with environmental education issues; and technica l knowledge; among others (Table 2-4). On the other hand, the group maturity measur ement takes into consideration aspects such as members confidence in group potential, self-evaluation events, links with other organizations, and their willingness to continue after the first project. The criteria used by the UFRJ team per tain to group context and appropriateness of participant profiles for their selection crit eria, which are based on an evaluation by the UFRJ team. Evaluations by internal members tend to focus on project goals, achievement, and on the procedures adopted, while evaluations by external actors tend to focus more on specific outcomes (Jacobson, 2009). It is important to garner different views on the same groups, in order to capture both the internal and external perspectives that can help im prove program performance.

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46 When evaluating the groups, the UFRJ c oordinators took into consideration historical facts and processes to classi fy current group success. As one UFRJ coordinator commented: They have always turned in the assignments late, and I always have to push them to do things, because they dont have initiative. Now I think things are getting better with the help of the civil society representatives, but I will only believe the group is better when they start developing the project. The maturity measurement, in contrast, does not take the temporal aspect into account in the model, which is a shortc oming of models aiming to explain group development (Gersick, 1988; Jehn & Mannix, 2001). As a consequence of the lack of temporal measurements, a recently re-form ed group, such as one of the outliers, which had completely broken down due to internal polit ical conflicts, was classified as being in the awareness independent stage. If temporal measurements accounted, for instance, for previous conflicts or breakdowns, a more accurate perspective of maturity would have been acquired. This temporal perspective needs to be incorporated in the Pretty and Ward (2001) model in order to have a more accurate perspective of internal group relations that lead to successful outcomes. The multiple regression result showed that the variable of inte rnal norms and rules caused variation in the UFRJ success criteria (R2 adj= 0.34, p= 0.02). Internal norms and rules define the group routine in terms of division of labor, frequency of meetings, and belief in their potential to achieve group outcomes. The process of establishing norms happens when members interact and spend time with each other (Feldman, 1984). At this time, they characterize how the group members keep in line with the group objecti ve, as well as how they will develop an atmosphere to make use of limited time and re sources, and create t he feel of the group

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47 (Eastis, 1998; Thorp, Stewar d & Heyer, 2005). As groups did not exist before the project, most groups were formed by peopl e who did not know each other prior to capacity-building. Thus, the members started new relation ships, established new norms to communicate with each other, and followed their own pace, in order to develop assigned tasks (Gersick, 1988). During the interviews, most groups decla red they had regular meetings and division of labor and roles when executing tasks, such as writing the project plan, or organizing an event: We have time to be here at the office But we only have division of labor and rules when conducting an event. We di vide the labor to make the event happen, but only at those times. When we were writing the project, we had some rules, such as everybody should agree with all points we added. Kssila types very well and she was the one responsible for that part. I know more about legislation and the environmental problems here in the municipality, t hus I contributed more with this part while el aborating the project. During the interviews, most groups had alre ady finished their project plans, and were waiting for approval from IBAMA to begin implementing their project. During this time, groups did not have any assigned ta sk, and most stopped having meetings. The absence of a clear objective task seems to be an important factor in the lack of clear rules and division of labor in some groups at that moment. Regular meetings seem important in giving participants time toget her and opportunities to develop internal norms, considering that they will start dev eloping a two year project in a local community. Another important aspect of internal norms and rules is the fact that few groups have done an evaluation of their own dev elopment and actions. They have made evaluations regarding capacit y-building and group dynamics, with the psychologist of

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48 the UFRJ team only. It is common for thi ngs to go unnoticed in the routine (Gersick & Hackman, 1990); group members talk far less about things they do routinely than about extraordinary actions they have taken. Researchers have done relatively little systematic research on group routines (G ersick & Hackman, 1990). The tendency to not analyze routine actions and the few tasks conducted outside the scope of the Plen project may be responsible for the lack of self-evaluation. Self-evaluation, nevertheless, can be a mechanism to empower groups and their members, by fostering impr ovements and self-det ermination (Fetterman, 1994). This idea, born in community psychology and action anthropology, is described by Fetterman in this way: The ability to chart ones own course in life forms the t heoretical foundation of empowerment evaluation. It c onsists of numerous interconnected capabilities that logically follow each other. A breakdown at any juncture can reduce a persons likelihood of being self-determined. They include the ability to identify and express needs, establish goals or expectations and a plan of action to achieve them, identif y resources, make rational choices from various alternative courses of ac tion, take appropriate steps to pursue objectives, evaluate shor t-and long-term results (including reassessing plans and expectations and taking necessary detours), and persist in the pursuit of those goals. (pg 2) Thus, the stimulation of self-evaluation procedures can represent an important strategy to improve the groups projects, through t he illuminating process that comes from analyzing previous happenings, as well as by perceiving existing resources in a new light, enabling them to find new opportunities to redefine t heir identity and future roles (Fetterman, 1994). One example of the power of self-evaluation is the response of two groups that developed a rule banning self evaluations, to avoid unveiling structural conflicts within the group. Feldman (1984) describe three types of norms, two of which I believe fit with

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49 these situations. One is a set of norms adopted by group members to discourage topics of conversation or situations in which so meones self image is damaged, called into question or embarrassed. The other is a set of norms that a group will enforce, that protect it from interference or hara ssment by members of other groups. In one of these cases, the participants declared they have opted to not self evaluate their group in order not to expose an internal conflict with one member, and thus undermine the group survival. The problematic member was responsible for keeping the physical office space availabl e to the group, and had conflicts with two other members who were experiencing weak suppor t from their secretar iats at that time, which suggested they were not likely to get a nother office space. The first of Feldmans norms fits with this case. In the other ca se, the group avoided self -evaluations because it would bring to light the t opic of political control of the local government over group activities. The members were advised not to discuss environment al problems with a critical perspective; otherwise they would suffer sanctions. The second Feldmans norms description described above fits with this case. Feldman (1984) also discusses how no rms can be developed from explicit statements by supervisors or co-workers. The UFRJ indeed tried to make the groups develop their own regiments, in order to ma ke the participants work together to create familiarity and become involved with the pr oject concepts and tasks (Projeto Plen, 2007). However, during the interviews, few groups discussed the existence of this proposed regiment, and among those who had su ch a document, it was outdated. This fact exemplifies the difficulty of imposi ng the creation of norms, which many times

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50 already exist in a group, but often are in formally set, not written down (Feldman, 1984), and are thus difficult to be perce ived by external actors. Gersick (1988) developed a model predi cting that the fi rst phase of group existence is marked by the establishment of an initial framework, which will only be changed when the group members find that old perspectives no longer work. This phase is similar to that of groups starting to implement their pr oject. Many respondents stated they would have to develop new rules to coordinate the actions in the scope of their projects. For example: We are trying to develop a set of rule s now that we need to work on our project. We need to be sure who is going to do what, in order to make sure everything will be done by somebody. More research must be done in order to better understand how groups redefine their internal norms and rules based on tasks and context, and how external agencies can influence this process. Member confidence in group potential, which is also one aspect of the variable internal norms and rules, is related to their confidence to positively impact the municipality and achieve the expected outcomes of the projects. These indicators were almost the same for all groups, and did not make a strong influence on the variable score. Members are more optimistic in achievi ng their project outcomes than in their influence over their municipalities. In te rms of their potential to achieve project outcomes, participants main concern is rela ted to how to get local people interested in participating, and if the group will have t he necessary ability to deal with local communities demands to implement its pr oject proposal. On the other hand, the participants recognize some transformations will occur within the communities with

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51 which they will work. Consider ing education as a long term process, they believe that in time they will see the results emerge, and th at at least a few people in their target communities will have a rapid response to t heir discussion, engaging in more action. In terms of influencing their municipalitie s, most secretariats, even supporting the TCA, do not give other types of support to gro ups, such as accessibility of officials, or support for the approach that groups are using to access and interpret local socioenvironmental problems and conflicts. These ty pes of support would be fundamental to influence the municipality beyond project sco pe, and the lack of these types of support undermines this potential. 2.3.4 Another Relevant Aspect Regardin g Group Ma turity Scores: Group Lifespan The hierarchical cluster analysis identifies that internal norms and rules, and group lifespan, divide the groups in two sets: one with high scores in these variables, and another with low scores. The internal norms and rules variable was discussed in the previous section; therefore in this section I will focus briefly on group lifespan. Group lifespan is related to group ability to solve problems; their chance of continuing after the initial pr oject implementation; and to gr oup ability to solve internal conflicts and to persist after the initial projects. The UFRJ team wants to continue supporting the groups, and also believes that the groups need to endure to support the communities they will work with during their projects. Part of the premise of education for environmental management is a continuous process of education, in order to deepen relations and understanding of socio-env ironmental issues (Quintas, 2006). One point related to this is the uncertainty that the UFRJ will continue managing the Plen project due to its temporary agreement with Petr obras. Every four years the agreement is re-evaluated and r enewed, and there is no legal obligation for UFRJ to

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52 continue being the institution developing the pr oject. In addition, it is unclear to the groups whether they will be allowed to be funded through other sources, because of the previous link with Petrobras, or whether t he company will continue to fund the groups, even without UFRJ. Another source of inst ability is the embedded natu re of the groups in the municipal government. Once every four years, with the elections, all officials are changed, and support may change to all projec ts within the Secretariats. The UFRJ team helps groups in terms of assuring t he TCA sign and fulfill agreements, but it cannot guarantee they will be always able to keep the TCA working. Participants recognize these uncertainties, which are reflected in their responses about the continuity of the group. In terms of conflict resolution, one set of groups stated they have difficulty solving internal conflicts. This seems to be largely explained by the type of conflict these groups have. Conflicts can be categorized in three types relationship, task, and process conflict (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). The relationship conflict is related to interpersonal incompatibilities, such as dislike among group members and feelings such as annoyance, frustration, and irritation. Task conflict is related to members differences in viewpoint and of opinion about a task. Process conflict pertains to issues of duty and resources, such as who should do what and how much responsibility different people should get. Among the groups with a low lifes pan score, I could identify three groups with relationship conflicts, one with task conflict, and no group with process conflict. High levels of relational conflict can prevent groups from developing familiarity among its members, reducing beneficial information and other resources sharing, and compromising conflict resolution and task performance (Jehn & Mannix, 2001; Oh,

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53 Chung & Labianca, 2004). Moreover, this type of conflict is the most difficult to solve, and most likely to generate group breakdown (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). Task conflicts can enhance performanc e through a synthesis of diverse perspectives and an increase in underst anding (Jehn & Mannix, 2001); however, members need to come to an agreement at some point, in order to make a viable solution to the conflict, and have a positive ou tcome. When a consensus is not reached, the group is susceptible to break down (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). Most participants declared their group would not last without UFRJ support. This is explained by the support the UFRJ gives in negotiating with the secretariats over release time, the technical support given, and their role in mediating internal conflicts within groups. The same pattern was found in a study developed in villages in Nepal (Adhikari & Goldey, 2010). Part of their c onclusion was that social capital can be induced, but it is hard to su stain, and that agency facilitat ion is crucial to enhance sustainability of groups. 2.3.5 Civil society partic ipation in the groups Groups vary in how they incorporate civil society representatives in their dynamics. In most cases, the civil society represent atives are invited to participate in group activities, but not in the plann ing of the activities themselv es. They are integral members in just four groups, in which they have a major role in planning and implementing the group project. Three groups did not have contac t with the civil soc iety representatives, even when the public workers in dicated a preference for shor t-term capacity building. It is important to note that in the four gr oups where they are completely integrated, three of them, Casimiro de Abreu, Rio das Ostras and So Joo da Barra, were able to persist due to the presence of t he civil society representatives. Internal cleavages led to

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54 the persistence of just one public worker in these groups, and the pr esence of the civil society representatives a llowed the group to continue. The difficulties of the interaction among public workers and civil society representatives vary according to their relati onship. Public workers from the groups with no contact with civil society repr esentatives, identify that there is a lack of motivation of the civil society to participate in the project. This can be re lated to two factors. One is the selection of these repr esentatives, and the other is the top-down nat ure of the project. The selection of t he participants may not be focusing on organizations from civil society that are willing to be involved with the groups and the issues of oil and gas mitigation programs. This would require a re vision of the criteria and procedures of selection. The top-down nature of the project refers to the fact that the group formation and their projects do not respond to any public claim, but to public policy. As a consequence, people involved in the projec t are being suggested to embrace a new cause, with which they did not work before, Considering the probl ematic structural conditions of the local organizations, that la ck resources to develop their main activities, it can be difficult to get them to add new topics to their agendas, and assume new responsibilities. Among the groups with civil society representatives participating in the selfinitiated activities, the problems they identify are related to t he fact that the civil society representatives work during the time they have to meet and discu ss their project and activities. This shows a conflict between pub lic workers with released time from normal duties and civil society represent atives without this released time. Thus, they do not find a common time to meet, reducing the chances of civil society participation in the groups.

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55 Another problem that they reported is the lack of financ ial support for the civil society representatives. They state that t he civil society repres entatives do not have money to pay transportation and food to s pend a part of a day with the group; this reduces the chances that they will partici pate regularly in the group meetings. Among the groups with a civil society representative, a major concern is a negative political reaction from the local gover nment. The civil society organizations in these municipalities are oft en politically opposed to the local governments and the presence of these representatives in a proj ect involving public workers is a sensitive topic. In one of these cases, the government explic itly ignores the presence of the civil society representatives, as a sign of its disagreement with their participation in the project, an explicit demonstr ation of the animosity that this topic can bring. The secretariats in general have little involvement in the groups and project development, and most do not know about the possi bility of civil society representatives being part of the groups. The historical lack of civil society participation in the public policies tends to create a tense relations hip between society and government, and this tension is present in the e fforts to increase public parti cipation in policies (Dagnino 2002b). In spite of the tension and animosity that the interact ion between civil society and state can cause, an interesting process occu rred in one municipality. The civil society representatives stated that t hey are learning how to propose action instead of just being reactive. On the other hand, the public worker stated she is learning how to deal with the demands of the civil societ y representatives in order to support them as well as strengthen the group. Teixeira (2 002) discusses that as the closer and more horizontal

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56 the relationship between organizations and the st ate, the more prone they are to create democratic values and alternatives to confront the different interests regarding a specific topic. In this sense, these four groups seem to be really building this type of relationship, generating new alternatives of performance in both stakeholders. 2.3.5 Organizational Characteristics In fluencing Social Capita l Creation The variations in groups internal no rms and rules, lifespan, external links, objectives and support given by the local government influence the social capital generated within a group (e.g. norms and conflicts), and with the groups and other organizations (e.g. incorporation of civil so ciety representatives in the groups). These variations in social capital will occur as a result of the influence of groups procedures and variations in the internal and external context. These factors shape the types of resources they desire, their ability to secure these resources, the distribution of them among members, and their management over time (Eastis, 1998). The group objective influences the definit ion of what res ources are needed, and the strategies necessary to access them (Foley & Edwards, 1999). The internal norms and rules variable reflects the idea of groups procedures. Groups with regular meetings tend to have members more engaged and familia r with each another, and groups that self-evaluate their actions tend to be clearer about their objectives and strategies. These factors can promote t he generation of clear strat egies of how to access the resources needed (Eastis, 1998). The group lif espan, defined as members ability to solve internal conflicts and to persist afte r the first project, also influence the group strategy to acquire the resources needed, and add a tem poral dimension. It also influences how the resources will be dist ributed among group me mbers (Oh, Chung & Labianca, 2004). The groups external links are al ready an indicator of how the different

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57 objectives, values and attitudes shape the networks established, for instance the acceptance and type of participation of the civil society representatives within the groups. In terms of the context of each group, it is possible to observe how variations in support from local government influence me mbers performance. Compliance with the TCA, the public manager accessible to me mbers, local governm ent oversight and control, the position of members in the se cretariats hierarchy and the members job security are factors influencing the member s performance, and thus their objectives, resources needed and partnership s intended. This agrees with previous research, which noted the influence of context in the creation of social capital, and the influence of institutional context on group internal relationships, performance, and networks (Eastis, 1998; Foley & Edwards, 1999; Oh, Chung & Labi anca, 2004). It is also important to stress that local government institutional ope nness to civil society participation is also fundamental to allow partici patory processes in public venues (Avritzer, 2009). Another aspect not explored in this re search, but also important to group organizational characteristics, is leadersh ip. Leaders can help members coordinate their activities and keep the focus of the group on the desired outcomes (Zander, 1979). The absence of leadership within groups is recogniz ed by the UFRJ team, which is trying to stimulate the development of leaders in the groups (Projeto Plen, 2008). 2.4 Recommendations for Education for Public Environmental Management From the observations of the Plen project, some recommendations can be made in terms of both program devel opment and institutional relationships. The Plen Project methodology has been recognized by the oil and gas office of IBAM A as an exemplary

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58 project and it may be replicat ed in other areas where ther e is offshore oil and gas exploration in Brazil. One recommendation for program development is related to the profile of the selected participants. The P len project selected public wo rkers to work in groups, planning and implementing a project in the communities. These public workers had previous experience with conservation education in schools (Projeto Plen, 2006), but they were unfamiliar with each other before the pr oject. They did not have previous experience working with communities, and they were not from the communities in which they worked. The formation of new groups and new networ ks, as stated before, is a difficult task, since it takes time to build trust (Pretty & Ward, 20 01), and relational conflicts can emerge, compromising the internal or ganization and group outcomes (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). Research on this topic found that gro ups composed of friends exhibit greater task conflict expression, which favor collectiv e construction of ideas, and were better in solving unnecessary relationship conflicts t han were groups of strangers characterized by instability and change (Shah & Jehn, 1993). Groups would also find it useful to continuously have activities leading to thei r project development, in order to keep them working together and thus developing their sense of a group. Groups with low internal norms and rules can be especially fa vored by this stimulation. In addition, the selection of people without previous experience in working with communities, presupposes time for partici pants to develop the necessary skills to complete the assigned tasks. The duration of the environmental education programs in the licensing process depends on the relations hip with the company, the UFRJ team

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59 and IBAMA,which is unstable du e to the political dynamic of the institutions in this context. In this regard, one important suggestion for future projects is to select people with experience of working together or in groups, and with previous experience with activities similar to those proposed by the pr oject, to ensure that people will be able to achieve project outcomes successfully in the time frame available. This is also relevant when the external agency cannot give clos e support to participant s. If the members have some previous experience with the assi gned tasks, they are more likely to work without continuous support, than if the members are develop ing something completely new for them. In the Plen project design, the external agency, UFRJ, formed groups to plan and implement projects. Group monitori ng and accompanying processes seem to be fundamental to group members confidence in their own work and to give technical support for project development. There is little research on the role of external agencies contribution to the success of ca pacity building projects, which is also related to the lack of evaluation of educational activities. T he results of Adhikari & Goldey (2010) demonstrate the importance the external agen cies in maintaining induced groups I suggest that monitoring and supporting participants is an important component in the process of building capacity, and it is relevant among groups formed to develop specific tasks, such as the case of the Plen pr oject groups. Continuous support allows the external agency to observe the development of a sense of group, the relevance and applicability of capacity building contents in the specific cases, the influence of local context and power relations on groups, and a llows them to creat e and apply instruments of intervention to improve groups work.

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60 Another suggestion to improve group work is to stimulate empowerment reflection, based on the idea of empowerment evaluation, In Brazil, there is a social norm in which people avoid direct confrontation when they have disagreements; in this specific context, some groups avoid confr ontation in order to ensure its persistence. This social norm can prevent groups from promoting self -evaluations, and thus to take advantage of its benefits, such as to identify and understand situations and context, to create new forms of access resources, to change expectations and roles, and redefine identity and future goals (Fetterman, 1994). As an alternative to stimulate the use of self-evaluations without promoting a tense envir onment, groups can promote regular self-reflections on their trajectory and work. This can be taught and facilitated, demystifying the evaluation process and ideally help ing groups internalize their practices. Another important point rela ted to program development regards the partnership between civil society and public workers sugges ted by the Plen Project. It is very important to provide a space in which public workers and civil society representatives can interact and exchange perce ptions about the socio-environmental problems that their municipalities face. However, to provi de conditions for an equal participation in the groups, it is necessary to improve the selectio n criteria of civil society participants, and better balance the capacity-building offered for both parties. In the capacity-building format, more emphasis is put on the public workers course, which lasts 2 years, whereas the course for civil society repr esentatives is for one weekend and one fourhour meeting. The capacity building courses al so occurred at different times, and some of the civil society representatives coul d not participate in the development of the project. This differential emphasis on t he public workers formation influences group

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61 performance and the quality of interactions. Rulke and Galaskiewicz (2000) in a study of how knowledge affects group performance, f ound that when information is held by multiple members, more people possess k nowledge and group me mbers may provide retrieval cues to each other, to aid the in troduction of knowledge into decision-making. They also found that groups are more lik ely to share conceptualizations of one anothers expertise, enabling members to pool information more e ffectively and make better decisions. Accordingly, investing in equal or equivalent capacity building to all participants can increase group effectiveness and improve integration among members. The civil society represent atives bring their experience in working with local communities to groups, helping increase me mbers confidence and motivation to develop their projects. From this research, it is also possibl e to see that in groups with civil society representative par ticipation, members recognize the importance of empirical knowledge as a complement to the techni cal one, and recognize that the they have different perceptions, constraints and abilities that shape their abilities to intercede in the local conditions. This is an interesting indication of how collaborative interaction between public workers and civil society r epresentatives can bring about a positive synergistic relationship, and it further confir ms the importance of promoting this type of interaction. The selection of representatives from t he local communities where the projects will be developed is another suggestion that may improve the adequacy of the group projects and the receptivity by the communities. Another important aspect to be taken into consideration is the possibility of having the participants developing small activities re lated to the final project, throughout the

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62 capacity building time. In this way, participants are allotted time to identify the necessary skills they have and do not have to develop t heir intended project, and build confidence in their own abilities. In institutional terms, it is important to strengthen the relationship between the federal agency IBAMA and the local governm ent. The use of environmental education programs to build capacity with the local gove rnment is an important strategy of helping the public sector to incor porate a participatory perspecti ve of socio-environmental conflicts and apply this perspective to dec ision making processes (Tatagiba, 2002). However, considering the instability of the municipal governments, greater support from IBAMA is fundamental to the maintenance of this type of proj ect. Institutional partnerships between the feder al agency and the local secr etariats can increase the importance of the project insi de the local Secretariats, buffe ring the effects of local political instabilities on the project. It is recognized by the UFRJ, as well as by researchers who analyzed other projects under the oil and gas licensing process, that local Secretariats tend to see mitigation projects as Petrobras corporative social responsibility projects, inst ead of a legal requirement th e company must implement (Loureiro, 2009; Projeto Plen, 2008). Visits and explanations by the UFRJ seem to be ineffective in clarifying this issue. Thus, in order to make clear to the local government the context of projects, their legal aspect, as well as the impo rtance to mitigate the exploration impacts, IBAMA must be institutionally present. The public workers stated t hat their individual performa nces changed after the capacity building. They adopted a more critical perspective of environmental issues, entangling environmental and social issues. Ho wever, they mostly occupy low-level

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63 positions in the internal hierarchy, whic h lowered or prevented their input to the secretariats in the capacity building c ourse of different perspectives of the environmental issues. Even the workers in coordinating positions do not have much room to discuss the principles of public environmental management inside their sectors. The chances of these public workers influencing their institutions ar e reduced, and if the Plen project intends to extend this discussion to public institutions, other strategies must be developed. This model of group maturity can be a us eful tool to assess groups organizational characteristics, and thus to develop interv entions to improve these conditions and increase group and project success. Along with an evaluation of the outcomes of group projects, the Plen project, and the proce ss of environmental education in the licensing framework, this method can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the project situation, in order to orient it s development and help ensure success. Table 2-1. Groups project topics Groups Project Topic Araruama Mobilize the community of Praia Seca to participate more effectively in the management of the Massambaba Protected Area, through a historical, cultural, and ecological discussion of the area. Arraial do Cabo Build a communicative network to monitor the use of the RESEX and discuss problems and conflicts in the RESEX. Bzios Participatory elaboration of a map with socio-environmentally vulnerable areas. Cabo Frio Build capacity with th ree local fisherman communities, to make them participate in the public environmental management. Stimulate a discussion from their historical and cultural background. Campos dos Goytacazes Build capacity among the fisherman community and stimulate their participation in public environmental management

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64 Table 2-1. Continued. Groups Project Topic Carapebus and Quissam Build capacity among the communities impacted by pipelines and stimulate them to participate more effectively in environmental management. Casimiro de Abreu Build capacity among the local fisherman community to participate effectively in the management of the So Joo River and other issues of public environmental management. Maca Contribute to the implementati on of the Council of Royalties, implementing the guidelines provided by the City Master Plan Rio das Ostras Build capacity among youth on the oil and gas activities impacts to promote effective participation in the municipal participatory budget. Promote the First Municipal Conference on Royalties. So Joo da Barra Discuss with the fisher man community their historical, cultural and ecological knowledge, stimulating the creation of alternative solutions of their problems and an effective participation in the public environmental management. So Francisco do Itabapoana Build capacity among the communities in the Paraba do Sul mangrove area, and discuss the socio-environmental problems of mangrove destruction. Table 2-2. Group maturity scores per municipality. Municipality Worldview Internal Norms and Rules External Links Lifespan Maturity Stage 1 Araruama 3 2.251.751.88 2.222 2 Arraial do Cabo 2 2.51.8753 2.343 3 Armao dos Bzios 2.2 2.442.052.5 2.302 4 Cabo Frio 2.3 2.331.51.33 1.881 5 Campos dos Goytacazes 2.4 2.121.652 2.042 6 Carapebus 2 2.31.6252.5 2.112 7 Casimiro de Abreu 1.5 2 22.75 2.062 8 Maca 2.5 2.351.93752.5 2.323 9 Rio das Ostras 2.25 2.432.1252.81 2.403 10 Saquarema 1.0 21.752.25 1.751

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65 Table 2-2. Continued. Municipality Worldview Internal Norms and Rules External Links Lifespan Maturity Stage 11 So Francisco do Itabapoana 3.02.332.252.83 2.603 12 So Joo da Barra 2.72.61.832.67 2.443 13 Quissam 22.71.53 2.302 Stage 1: from 1.75 to 2.03; stage 2: from 2.03 to 2.31; stage 3: < 2.32. Table 2-3. Self-initiated group acti vities of the Plen Project groups Forums and weeks of discussion Meeting with other groups Meeting with Secretariats Decree and Law Implementation Hold a Meeting with all other Plen's groups Participation in Municipal activities Simulation of a environmental disaster Membership in collective venues Araruama X x Arraial do Cabo x Armao dos Bzios X x X Cabo Frio x Campos dos Goytacazes X x Carapebus X Casimiro de Abreu X Maca X X x Rio das Ostras X x Saquarema So Francisco do Itabapoana X x x So Joo da Barra X x X x Quissam X x X Total 9 3 3 2 2 2 1 4

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66 Table 2-4. Criteria menti oned by the UFRJ team as features of successful groups (n=8). Indicator # of times mentioned Present in the maturity measurement Good Institutional relationship 6 Conflict solving 5X Division of labor 5X Motivation to work 5 Involvement to the EE cause 4 Be autonomous 3 Technical knowledge 3 Time 2X Partnerships 2X Volunteering 2 Shared objectives 2 Leadership 2 Other 4 Table 2-5. Challenges for civil so ciety participation in the groups (%). Type of Relationship Municipalities Time availability Lack of financial resource Lack of short term outcomes Fear of political problems Lack of motivation No contact Arraial do Cabo Araruama Cabo Frio 66.733.30 33.3 100 Contact in events Campos dos Goytacazes, So Francisco do Itabapoana Quissam Maca Capabebus 604020 20 20 Regular basis Armao dos Bzios Casimiro de Abreu So Joo da Barra 033.333.3 100 0

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67 Table 2-6. Advantages of civil soci ety participation in the groups (%). Type of Relationship Municipalities More people to work Experience input Freedom of speech Commitment Support from society Focus on the work No contact Arraial do Cabo Araruama Cabo Frio 66.766.733.3 0 00 Contact in events Campos dos Goytacazes So Francisco do Itabapoana Quissam Maca Capabebus 100800 0 00 Regular basis Armao dos Bzios Casimiro de Abreu So Joo da Barra 0033.3 100 100.033.3

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68 Figure 2-1. Conceptual model of group maturity, adapted from Pretty and Ward 2001. Figure 2-2. Correlation between projec t evaluation score and maturity score

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69 Figure 2-3. Dendrogram of the hierarchical clustering (Wards method) and t-test. Figure 2-4. Correlation between the number of self-initiated activities and group maturity score

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70 Figure 2-5. Correlation of UFRJ score and group maturity score, using (a) all 13 groups and (b) only 11 groups. Figure 2-6. Backward stepwise regression of UFRJ score and internal norms and rules (n=13).

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71 CHAPTER 3 CONCLUSION In this thesis I explored how the inter nal organization of groups can influence their outcomes. Using a model of group maturity (Pretty & Ward, 2001), I classified the 13 groups formed in the Plen proj ect context in stages of matu rity, w hich allowed me to identify the main aspects of group internal or ganization that influences its outcomes. I found that most of the groups are in the intermediary stage of maturity proposed by the model, and that the variables that most influence the group maturity scores are the internal norms and rules, and group lifespan. The project plan evaluation did not have a significant relation with group maturity scores. I suggest that the technical support gi ven by the UFRJ team to all groups is responsible for confounding which aspects of the plans are attributed to the groups, and which should be attributed to the UFRJ coordinators. The groups also engaged in a number of se lf-initiated activities, as a consequence of their involvement with the project. There is a significant relationship between group maturity and number of self-initiated acti vities. The small numbers of self-initiated activities may have influenced the statistical analysis, and the relationship may be even larger. Some groups participate in activi ties such as the Environmental Week, presentations and Forum, repr esenting the Plen group in t heir municipalities. Some have influenced the creation of legal provisio ns to guarantee their offices, release time and use of resources. Others are participating in public venues that deal with watershed and protected area management. It is perceived that their participation in these other initiatives is also used as a strategy to gain visibility in the local government, to

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72 guarantee their release time from formal dut ies, and to avoid attempts of local government control over their activities. The UFRJ success score was correlated with the maturity scores. This suggests that the external agency evaluation, in this case the UFRJ, is a reliable indicator of group maturity and success. The assessment of group success through interviews with the external agency can be used as an indica tor to evaluate groups formed in the scope of public policies and programs, in order to reduce costs of assessment. However, it may only be valid for external agencies that closely accompany groups. The internal norms and rules variable str ongly influenced the UFRJ success score. Assigned tasks seem to be important to groups, once they are meeting and developing their norms and rules, and creatin g the feel of the group. In this case, the lack of norms and rules in some groups seems to be affected by the lack of assigned tasks. Another important aspect regarding this variable is th e lack of self-evaluation, due to a lack of activities conducted by the groups, and a lack of concern to group routine activities. Members confidence in their group work is another aspect of this variable that is influenced by participants perception of their own capacity, their acceptance in the communities, and the repercussions of their projects inside t he local government. The other variable that most influenced group maturity is group lifespan, which is influenced by the uncertainty of whether the project will go forward, the repercussion of their work in the municipality, and their ab ility to solve their internal conflicts. Group objectives, internal norms and rules, lifespan, external links as well as their institutional context influence members av ailability to work, and their willingness to approach or avoid some topics. These va riables shape the groups objectives,

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73 resources needed, as well as the connections they will make in order to obtain these resources. One suggestion made is to incorporate a te mporal perspective into Pretty and Ward (2001) model, in order to acquire a mo re accurate assessment of group maturity. Recommendations from this study will be useful to the UFRJ team to improve the Plen project initiative, as well as to enhance ot her initiatives of education for public environmental management in the oil and gas licensing process.

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74 APPENDIX A CAPACITY BUILDING STRUCTURE

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75 Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Workshop 1 Course 4 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 1. Discussion of the different environmental perspectives of different stakeholders. 1. Premises of the public environmenta l management. 1. Discussion of oil and gas socioenvironment al impacts and the importance of social control. 1.Short term capacity building for civil society representativ es 1. Discussion of participatory methodologie s, project evaluation and budget constructing to project elaboration. 1.Short term capacity building for civil society representative s 1.Short term capacity building for civil society representatives Event Courses and workshops 2. Contextualization of EE under a social movements, scholastic and ecologic approaches. 2. Oil and gas environmenta l legislation. 2. Critical reading of the Environment al Impact Assessment of an oil platform. 2. General notions of principles of the public environment al management and conflict analysis. 2. Discussion of other experiences of projects in response to public policies. 2. General notions of principles of the public environmental management, and conflict analysis. 2. General notions of principles of the public environmental management, and conflict analysis. Follow up 1 Follow up 2 Follow up 3 Follow up 4 Follow up 5 Follow up 6 Follow up 7 Follow-up visit 1. Help the elaboration of case studies (identification of social actors and interests regarding an environmental problem). 1. Elaborate a project exercise (involving local partnership). 1. Discuss the project development exercise. 1. Integrate local leaders and participants. 1. Discuss the proposed projects (objectives, methods, and actions). 1. Integrate local leaders and participants. 1. Integrate local leaders and participants.

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76 Forum 1 Forum 2 Forum 3 Forum 1. Conflict mapping and assessment discussion (difficulties and challenges). 1. Discussion of the exercise on oil and gas impact mitigation. 1. Discussion of steps to projects development. 2. Discussion of scholastic EE. Project elaboration and implementation 1.Beginnin of project development 2.Project development 3.Project development 1. Beginning of projects' implementation

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77 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW GUIDE: GROUP MATURITY

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78 Themes Variable Item Stages Worldviews of members Group objective What is the objective of the group? Stage one: The objective of the group is to achieve the goals of the project. Stage two: The objective is achieve the projects outcomes and maybe to develop other complementary activities. Stage three: The objective is to implement the first project, plan a new one and/or expand the first to other areas. Internal norms and trust Norms and rules Does the group have rules to organize the collective work in the group? Stage one: The norms and rules tend to be externally imposed or derived, or group doesnt have rules and norms. Stage two: Member identifies rules and norms only when doing activities Stage three: Member can identify groups division of labor and norms of functioning in a regular basis. Does the group have regular meetings with all members? Stage one: Group has no meeting. Stage two: There are meetings but with no regularity. Stage three: There are regular meetings. Recognition of group value Do you believe the groups activities will generate changes in the lo cal reality of the municipality, beyond the project impact? Stage one: Member does not believe the group will change/influence the local context. Member is mistrustful. Stage two: Member is increasingly investing in the group, but not sure if they have potential to change/influence the local context. Stage three: Member believe the group can change/influence the local context, or already recognize changes going on. Do you think the groups work will mitigate the socialenvironmental problems identified in its project? Stage one: Member doesnt believe the group can reach the projects goals. Member is mistrustful. Stage two: Member is increasingly investing in the group, but not sure if they have potential to achi eve the expected outcomes. Stage three: Member believes the group can achieve the projects goals, or already recognizes changes going on. Member is motivated to work. Self analysis Have you ever evaluated the groups work? Stage one: The group has never evaluated its progress, or only when suggested by the UFRJs team. Stage two: The group evaluates its progress informally, without any frequency determined. Stage three: The group regularly evaluates its progress.

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79 Themes Variable Item Stage External links and networks External facilitators What is UFRJs role in the groups organization? Stage one: Group relies on external facilitators to define and sustain its activities. Stage two: New roles for facilitators, such as give technical knowledge support. Stage three: Facilitators no long needed, group is autonomous. Horizontal Do you participate in any non-governmental organization, or network, forum, council, etc? Stage one: No participation in other organization or forum. Stage two: Participation in one organization or forum. Stage three: Participation in more than one NGO, foundations, associations and/or forums. Does the group have representatives of civil society among its members? Stage one: No contact with the civil society representatives. Stage two: Sporadic relationship with the civil society representatives. Stage three: Civil society representatives embedded in the group, assuming responsibilities as the government functionaries. Does the group have partnership with other organizations in the municipality? (Local, regional or national) Stage one: No links with other organizations in the municipality. Stage two: Link with one organization or forum. Stage three: Link with more than one NGO, foundations, associations and/or forums. Group lifespan Problem solving When the group has an internal conflict or disagreement, are you able to handle it? Stage one: Cant solve its internal conflicts even with the UFRJ mediation. Stage two: Usually relies on help fr om UFRJ to solve conflict among members. Stage three: The group cab handle its internal conflicts, not needing external mediators. Resilience Do you believe the group will continue existing after this project? Stage one: Member doesnt believe the group will continue to exist after the first project. Stage two: Member is not sure if the group will persist. It is possible to breakdown after achievements of initial goals. Stage three: Member is confident that the group will persist after the project. Unlikely to breakdown.

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80

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81 APPENDIX C CRITERIA TO EVALUATE PROJECT PLANS Criteria Planning 1. Does the group define clearly the problem it wants to address? 2. Does the group identify the audience it will work, defining specific groups? 3. Did the group research to know its a udience and/or meet the audience needs? # 4. Does the Polo consider local peoples input to plan the project before or while project going on? # 5. 4.1 If the previous answer is yes, what type of input? # a. consultation b. co-acting Implementation 6. Does the group define the specific methodology it will use to reach its objectives? 7. Have they started mobilizing resources, making contacts in the community, or any important aspect of the project elaboration? # Evaluation 8. What type of evaluation the group predicted in the written project? a. Evaluation of outputs (number of meeting done, percentage of audience reached, number of participants trained) b. Evaluation outcomes (if the audience received the message, paid attention, understood and retained the information; changes in attitudes and behaviors. 9. Does the group plan to evaluate the project using: a. Quantitative data b. c. Qualitative data Maximum Total 9 *The Planning, Implementation and Evaluation answers were yes=1 or no=0; a=0, b=1. # These items were checked during the interviews.

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88 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ana Carolina was born in Rio de Janeiro ci ty, Brazil, where she grew up. In 2006 she received a Bachelors in Science in Ec ology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. From 2006 to 2008 she worked as a techni cian at the Federal Univ ersity of Rio de Janeiro, where she was part of a team that developed and impl emented the Plen Project, an environmental educati on program in the oil and gas licensing process. She used the Plen Project as a case study in her masters research, in which she focused on group dynamics and its importance to gr oup success. Ana Carolina concluded her masters in the Center of Latin American Studies, wit h tropical conservation and development concentration in the spring 2010.